Disclaimer: Not mine

Author's Note: I really appreciate all the responses I got for this. At a most stressful time in my life (college graduation and an art show! Yikes!), I needed a silly outlet just to get away from it all. This was it. Thanks to those who stuck by the story and took it for what it was. Thanks to those who doubted it and probably never gave it a second glance. Finally, thanks to the ones who weren't sure, but decided to read anyway. The comments and reviews were great and helped a lot. Cheers.

Work

by e-dog

6

Payback

She was beginning to see Elliot in a whole different light.

Sure he was pretentious at times. Rude. Impatient. Explosive. Still, none of those descriptors could cancel out the good that was Elliot Stabler. He was a good man and a good cop. A good detective. None of their arguments or disagreements could ever snuff that out.

She could see him hobbling ahead of her and this nearly made her laugh again. No, it wasn't funny at all, but the thought of Elliot scooping her up into his arms, twisting his spine and running like some wannabe Wesley Snipes was a picture she just couldn't shake. It was too bad she had fainted during the whole ordeal.

Speaking of fainting, her head was spinning like crazy. There was no denying it any more. She had a fever. The setting sun was doing nothing to ease her fraught mind either. Without the warmth, she would surely lose all will to keep walking. She heard Elliot mutter something, bringing her back from her musings.

"Elliot?"

He grunted in reply. Too tired to ask again, she let him be. He would talk when he wanted to.

-----------------------

They continued walking. Surely they were getting closer to civilization. They had to be.

"Oh God, no," Elliot said aloud.

"What's wrong?" Olivia said, looking up from the ground. She stood next to her partner and felt a sudden urge to throw up. She shook her head, "No, no, no. . ."

"This is a mirage," Elliot reasoned.

Olivia sighed, "We're not in the middle of the desert, El. This is Canada."

"This is shit. Complete horseshit," he griped.

"You can say that again," she agreed.

"Horseshit," Elliot muttered again.

Before them was a split in the tracks. A fork in the road that the maps back at the train yard didn't indicate. It became painfully clear that those navigational papers had long since been expired; the owners of this fine railroad line feeling no need to update their train yards with accurate maps.

Elliot sank to his knees, his resolve completely drained of all sustenance. He was soon joined by Olivia, who only seemed to be looking worse with each passing minute. They needed to find help. She needed medical attention. At the very least some drinkable water.

Olivia set her eyes on the horizon. It was so far away and she was so damn tired. She smacked her dry lips and studied the tracks the again. Whether the tracks veered left or right, they seemed to be endless. There was only one choice to make here.

"Left or right."

"What?" he said, turning his head to face her.

She repeated with a loud sigh, "Left or right? Should we go left or right?"

Not wanting to argue, he shrugged, "What do you think?"

"Right," she said almost immediately. Confidently. Maybe with a hint of desperation.

He thought on her decision for a moment, then stood to his feet. "Okay. Let's go."

Olivia glanced up at him, confused. "Okay? That's it? Just okay?"

"Yup. Just okay," he nodded, holding out his hand for her to grab. He pulled her to her feet and began to walk, but she yanked him back. He shrugged again. "What's up, Olivia?"

"You're not gonna fight me? You don't want to go left, just for argument's sake?" she pushed.

"Left. Right. What does it matter?" Elliot said, his voice bitter and caustic. He kicked at the dirt and went on, "We've been following these tracks for days. We've been chased by a moose, pushed down a muddy slope by drug runners, scared senseless by a bear and . . . and. . ."

"Pushed to our wits end?" she suggested.

"Exactly!" Elliot roared with agreement. He looked up at the sky with his arms spread wide and he shouted, "What the hell do we have to do to earn a little luck on this fucking trip?!?"

Elliot was answered with loud, rolling thunder and droplets of rain. Olivia felt a little drop of rain hit her head as well, however, it seemed the heavens were trying desperately to keep the flood back. For the life of her, she couldn't understand why. The skies should just open up right now, drown them both.

Elliot let his arms fall, a resentful laugh bubbling within him. He then locked eyes with her and said, "What do we have to do?"

Tiredly, Olivia stood alongside her partner and smiled, "Nothing."

Elliot frowned. "Nothing?"

"Nothing," she said again, allowing herself to sink to the ground to rest. He sat down next to her, sitting with his legs crossed and his arms hugging his body tightly. She mimicked his posture and shut her eyes for a moment. She repeated, "Nothing."

"Are you saying give up? Sit here and starve to death?" Elliot mused darkly. It had been so long since he took a rest. His tired limbs were finally beginning to feel the strains of sleep deprivation. The exhaustion was hitting him like a ton of bricks.

"I'm saying we did nothing to deserve this, therefore we have no obligation to do anything to set our universe right again," Olivia explained. "This has been one bad accident after another, but you know what? We're still alive, Elliot. We're still here."

"Yeah, we are," he agreed. His eyes began to close. All he wanted to do was sleep. "We're. . ."

A piercing horn sounded off in the distance. They turned they're heads toward the racket and spied a light down the way. A bright, circular light. It looked like a large headlight. The kind of headlight found on the nose of a train.

They both just sat there, frozen. They sat there not wanting to believe that they're luck had finally turned around. Nevertheless, the light grew stronger and the horn sounded louder. It was a train. Good Lord Almighty, it was a train!

Elliot rose to his feet and began to wave his arms in the air. Olivia joined him and began to call out, "Stop!"

Elliot did the same. He began to shout like his life depended on it. Well, his life did depend on it. He shouted because both his life and Olivia's depended on being heard. He still couldn't help but wonder if the engineer would even hear their voices over the noise of the engine. He doubted it. They could only pray that they would be seen. Please, let someone see them.

A wave of lightheadedness hit him. He was on the brink of passing out. He stumbled forward, waving his arms wildly. Please, let someone see them. Let them be seen before he collapsed. Let them be seen before Olivia was overcome by her fever.

"Stop!" he shouted again. "Stop!"

Please. Let someone see them.

-----------------------

Two weeks later. . .

To think they were laughing about their ordeal, chatting it up with Casey after a particularly grueling case. It seemed like the best thing to do, really. Both detectives had barely said a word to anyone about their plight in Canada. Now, all they could do was talk about it. All they could do was laugh.

Casey listened, not only with her ears but with her eyes. She could hear the nervousness, see the reddened cheeks. Elliot and Olivia were embarrassed. As if anything they could've done would've prevented what happened. Still, that was the one emotion she was reading loud and clear: embarrassment.

Embarrassment at allowing themselves to end up in such a bizarre situation in the first place. Laughter at all the asinine events that followed. Casey couldn't keep from chuckling herself, listening to their horrific tale. It was quite possibly the most improbable story she had ever heard.

Needless to say, nothing that had happened to them was funny. They had woken up on a train, lost and confused. No identification. No sense of time. Toss in a couple of bewildered train operators/drug runners and both Elliot and Olivia could've easily been shot or killed. Oh, who could forget the perils of nature? Certainly not these two. Casey had heard the story of the rampaging moose. It was not pretty.

"Next thing I know, Elliot is barging into me and we're flying down this hill, head over heels," Olivia recalled, her laughter interrupting her nearly every other word.

"There was no end in sight, Casey. It was unreal," Elliot added. "I felt like we had been falling forever."

"The climb back up was the worst part," Olivia sighed heavily.

"Really? I would've thought the moose would've been the most terrifying?" Casey said, intrigued.

"That was nothing," Olivia shrugged. Her eyes told Casey otherwise.

They went on about David and Armand. Their second trip down the hill and the messy attempt to climb back up. Casey heard it all. This would be the third time Elliot and Olivia had regaled her with their tale. The more they talked about it, the more easygoing they became.

The banter continued and it was almost like Casey wasn't even in the room. Usually, she felt like the odd one out, the outsider. Not this time. This time, she was just happy they were both here, alive and well. She was happy they were getting along.

Then again, near death experiences tend to change a person's perspective on things.

Olivia's cell phone went off and she checked the text message. She looked up at Elliot, her voice determined and strong, "Adam Hunt. Munch and Fin got a hit on his location."

Elliot immediately stood up, "Sorry, Case."

"No, go. I understand," Casey waved at them. "You can finish your story after you catch Adam."

-----------------------

"Olivia!"

"I see him, El!" she shouted back, leaping over the park bench and flipping on the afterburners. Gone were the endless rows of trees and muck. Gone was the awful terrain she experienced up North. All she had was grass, pavement and concrete to navigate. This was Manhattan. This was taxi cabs, people and wandering pets. This was her turf and damn it, she was not going to let Adam Hunt get away from her this time. No, not this time.

Not to mention that little prick had the nerve to be wearing her leather jacket! The very same leather jacket she thought had been gone for good.

The park was surprisingly devoid of people, so she was only dodging fountains, benches and street lamps. Her leather jacket was just within her grasp. Then misfortune struck again. Adam blazed across a busy street, just before the lights changed. Traffic began to move, blocking her path.

Adam was getting away. Again.

"Fuck, no," she panted, racing along the sidewalk, looking for an opening. Then out of the corner of her eye, she saw Elliot. For a millisecond, he looked like Superman, shirt torn and stance tall and strong. The next millisecond, he was gone. He leaped off the brick wall on which he was standing, flew through the air and tackled the unsuspecting Adam to the ground. He timed it perfectly.

She wasn't sure where Elliot had come from or how he managed to crosse the street, but a millisecond later she realized how little she cared. Once she could, she raced across the street, just as Elliot had cuffed Adam and pulled the bastard to his feet. Elliot also handed Olivia her jacket. She tugged it on with a cocky defiance. Now she was back. It felt good to be back.

"Hi, Adam, remember us?" Elliot grinned wickedly, returning his attention to the perp in his grasp.

Adam was seething, glaring at them both. Olivia turned to Elliot and shrugged, "I don't think he remembers us, Elliot. We should refresh his memory."

"Hm, there was that oak branch you hit us with. Remember that?" Elliot growled, shaking Adam.

"Can't forget the train. He dumped us on that God forsaken train," Olivia added. She then locked eyes with their perp and growled, "Stole my jacket."

Finally, Fin and Munch pulled up in their sedan, lights flashing. They both hopped out, clearly overjoyed to see Adam in handcuffs. Munch walked over, watching Elliot and Olivia do everything in their power to keep from mauling Adam Hunt alive. Fin checked the sidewalks for witnesses, then motioned toward the alleyway. "I won't tell, if you don't."

Elliot and Olivia immediately looked to Munch for approval. After a few long seconds, Munch shrugged, "Go, but I'm not going to witness any of this debauchery. I'll be in the car."

"What the hell are you talking about?" Adam asked, looking between the four detectives with great worry. "Hey! What's he talking about?"

Elliot pulled Adam close to his face and sneered, "It's payback time you little bastard."

Olivia tore at Adam's shirt, then stuffed the piece of fabric in his mouth to keep him from screaming.

Fin and Munch watched Olivia and Elliot drag Adam into the alleyway, kicking and crying through his muffled mouth. They both turned their backs on the scene, waited patiently, then heard the most nauseating, bone-crunching hit that they had ever heard.

Fin's only response to that was, "Damn."

"Yeah," Munch agreed. "This job's a bitch."

The End